Fethard Tidy Towns
Joe Keane photographed at the launch of Fethard Tidy Towns 'Green Dog Walkers' campaign at Fethard Tirry Community Centre in 2014 Back: Geraldine McCarthy (Supervisor Fethard Day Care Centre ), Eamon Kennedy (Fethard Tidy Towns), Joan O'Donohoe (Supervisor Fethard Community Employment Scheme). Front: Joe Keane (Chairman Fethard Tidy Towns), dog owners Margaret Walsh and Thelma Griffith.
Fethard & Killusty Community Council wish to congregate and acknowledge the years of service and dedication to Fethard Tidy Towns by Joe Keane who will step down from his position as chairman on September 1, for personal commitments and a well-earned rest from community work.
A meeting to re-establish Fethard Tidy Towns was held on October 5, 2009, attended by special guests from Emly winners of the overall Tidy Towns National Competition that year. Speaking at the meeting, Denis Heffernan emphasised the importance of being positive at all times and suggested an overall professional plan for the town would be a very good starting point. On the night names of those interested in forming a committee were taken and it was decided to call a further meeting at a later date to form a new committee.
Joe Keane then took over as chairman and under his leadership, took the group to a higher level with the guidance of a three-year work plan prepared by Frank Donaldson Tourism & Heritage Consultancy and then re-entering Fethard in the National Tidy Towns Competition in 2010, after an absence of many years.
In the following years, Joe raised the standard with the help of a dedicated voluntary work crew and assistant from the Community Employment Scheme and Tús. Included in his achievements while chairman, is the much-used ‘Harrington Walkway’ which allows safe pedestrian access from Congress Terrace to Jesuits Walk. This long-term objective was achieved with the very generous cooperation of Mary Harrington and her family, and the support of South Tipperary Council who erected the fence and laid a suitable surface to walk.
One of the other main achievements during Joe’s chairmanship was the development of the park at Fethard Playground. With the superb support from Coolmore Stud, who supplied the necessary machinery, labour and trees, we now enjoy a beautiful park, surrounding our Children’s Playground and Sensory Park, recently voted one of the top 50 playgrounds in Ireland. This is a lovely area and enjoyed by many locals and visitors and the walkway also links the town with Monroe for safer pedestrian access.
Visitors to the town have also commented favourable of the tidiness of the town and the introduction of the many colourful planters placed around the town, which flower from year to year with only little maintenance. Joe, with kind permission, used the old cattle mart as a base for his gardening work and this site has proved a valuable base for growing and cultivating an on-going supply of flowers and shrubs for Fethard Tidy Towns. Hopefully, this will continue to be available for the indefinite future.
On behalf of the Fethard & Killusty Community Council and people of Fethard, we take this opportunity to thank Joe sincerely for his service to Fethard Town while under the umbrella of Fethard Tidy Towns and the many other community organisations he was involved in over his years living in Fethard with his late wife Ann. We wish him well and good health in his next venture and his future life and we’re very confident that Joe’s unique style of getting things done will continue whatever he puts his mind to. We will miss him in Fethard and can only hope and strive to maintain the high standards he has already planted.